Great Banquet


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The Parable of the Great Banquet

    A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, "Come, for everything is now ready."

    But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, "I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me."

    Another said, "I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me."

    Still another said, "I just got married, so I can't come."

    The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, "Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame."

    "Sir," the servant said, "what you ordered has been done, but there is still room"

    Then the master told his servant, "Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet." -- Luke 14:16-24

A common representation of the gospel is that of a feast. We find this not only in the writings of the Jewish prophets, but in several of the parables of Christ. Clearly, the idea is that of the magnificent preparation made to supply all of our needs. The supper to which this parable refers is a great one, probably on account of the station and rank of the person who provided it, or on account of the abundance by which it was distinguished, or perhaps especially because of the large number of guests invited.

In the conduct of those first invited, we see the unbelief of the Jews to whom Christ first came with the invitation of the gospel. We see also that, in their unbelief, the offer of salvation was extended to the Gentiles, and any who would accept the invitation.

The invitation first issued

  • The time of the invitation
    • Supper time
    • Evening of the day
    • Gospel dispensation
  • The nature of the invitation
    • "Come, for everything is now ready."
      • Come unite with other expected guests
      • Come and partake in the prepared meal
    • Free, generous, direct
  • Persons by whom the invitations were sent
    • Servants

The rejection of the invitation by the invited guests

  • Unanimity of their refusals
    • Different excuses, but same spirit
  • The excuses given
    • Inspection of newly purchased property
      • Luke 6:24
      • Matthew 6:24
      • Mark 10:23-27
    • Work out his oxen
      • Diligence is commendable, but here it absorbed the whole man
    • Domestic duties
      • A man should honor, love, and care for his wife, but she should not displace God
      • Matthew 10:37

The invitations that were subsequently issued

  • Commission extended
  • Urgency of the appeal

Application of the parable

  • In the gospel, abundant provisions are made for the spiritual wants of mankind
  • God's invitation is extended to everyone
  • God's invitation is free and full, and urgently presented by the Lord Jesus Christ
  • Those who refuse the invitation will be excluded from the feast
  • It is the duty of everyone to immediately and gratefully accept and obey the invitation of Christ

Suggested reading

Overview of Bible Study